WINDSOR, Va. - While most people in Windsor are sleeping, Officer C.J. Griffin is keeping the community safe as a midnight shift patrol officer.
"My main responsibility is the safety of the town, businesses, safety of the people themselves, as well as people traveling through the town," Griffin explained.
His chief says he's had tremendous success as a patrol officer in the short time he's been with department, but it's the work he's done off-duty that Griffin is most proud of.
During the last school year, his chief asked him to mentor a group of at-risk kids.
"Some of the kids' parents are either incarcerated or they've had negative encounters with law enforcement, so the main focus was trying to get them to understand law enforcement isn't bad," Griffin said. "It started one day playing basketball with kids for 30 minutes when I got off-duty, and I kind of bonded with the kids immediately."
That quickly turned into a regular routine. For the rest of the school year, he met with about 12 - 14 fourth and fifth graders twice a week. Their time together had an impact on all of them.
"For me to be able to step out of the role of law enforcement officer and go into the roll of mentor and help these kids, it made a huge impact on my life," Griffin said.
As an officer, Griffin says you want to be able to see that you're making a difference, and with these kids, he has.
"That's the most rewarding part is to actually see your success story, and these kids have been my success story so far," Griffin said.
According to the chief, some of the kids Officer Griffin mentored were at risk of not moving on to the next grade level, but by the end of the school year they all did, with some even making the honor roll.
The work the he did with the kids didn't go unnoticed. He was nominated and ultimately chosen by the Greater Hampton Roads Regional Crime Lines as the 2016 'Top Cop' for the Windsor Police Department.